Filtered by author: Gail McMahon Clear Filter

Scenes from Seattle

It was a privilege to attend the NACAC conference in Seattle in late September. The sun was shining, the hills were steep, and it was a  beautiful thing to attend a conference again. I had the best time doing an Instagram takeover, posting about fabulous sessions, keynotes, and Seattle spots. If you don’t already, give Iowa ACAC a follow!

Read More

Changes of Scenery

Promotions/new positions, new team members and bidding farewell - check out the Changes of Scenery in some of our member offices. Do you have big news to share? Major changes in your offices in the past few months – new colleagues, promotions, weddings, babies, etc. – let us know and we'll share the news with your Iowa ACAC colleagues!

Read More

Looking to the Future

It’s been several years since I had the opportunity to attend the NACAC Conference. That, coupled with a year away from any type of airline travel, had me so excited to arrive in Seattle for the return of an in-person NACAC conference. As a new Assembly Delegate, I was unsure of what to expect going into the conference this year. NACAC has recently undergone a lot of changes in its organizational structure, and it was evident coming into the conference that more change is on the horizon.

Read More

Lessons Learned Since March '20 – Part 2

In January I compiled a list of lessons learned since the start of the pandemic for SCENES. Lessons such as buying TP and Clorox wipes anytime you had the chance, and the most flattering angle for video calls. At the time, I think we all were hoping we were wrapping up the pandemic.

Read More

Expanding Your Worldview through Board Service

I was asked to spend a few minutes and reflect on my time on the Board as well as give my candidate perspective running for National Board Service. In a nutshell, the three-year presidential cycle—President-elect, President, Past President—was one of the most rewarding periods of my professional life. It was also most certainly one of the fastest periods in my professional history.

Read More

6 Tips to Healthier Eating Habits on the Road or in the Office

Everyone’s clothing shrunk during the pandemic, right?

Read More

Back to School

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting this summer as I prepare to leave my current position as an Admission Counselor at the University of Iowa. A little background: as an undergraduate, I worked in the Office of Admissions in two student positions and absolutely adored it. So much so that I began considering a year or two in admissions post-graduation. Driven by my desire to return to admissions and a feeling of uncertainty as I navigated student teaching, I accepted a temporary counselor position following graduation and a full-time position six months later. I knew my time as a counselor would either be short-term and followed by a return to teaching, or I’d decide to stay in higher education for a good portion of my career. A little over two and half years later, and I’ve made the difficult decision to return to the classroom.

Read More

Tips for Training New Staff Members

Our director always jokes that if you stay in admissions for long enough, it’s inevitable that at some point you’ll wind up in charge of training new team members. While some folks might not necessarily enjoy the training process, it has long been one of my favorite things about my job.

Read More

ACU - Biggest Year Yet!

This year, we were so excited to host Admissions Counselor University (ACU) in person after a long year of virtual events. Last year, we had about 50 new admissions professionals join us virtually, but it just wasn’t the same. The best thing about ACU is the connection you make with other new professionals who are experiencing this newness at the same time. It is about the familiar faces that you will see during travel which makes walking into a college fair a little more fun. It is about team building activities. We were so excited to bring all of that back this year, and it was very apparent that everyone was excited!

Read More

Taking a Virtual Leap

This year’s LEAP Conference went virtual, but stayed true to its mission and purpose of empowering BIPOC, first-generation, and other historically marginalized high school students in the state of Iowa.

Read More

Welcome New Board Members!

Take a moment to meet our newest Board members and learn how being a part of Iowa ACAC has fulfilled their lives professionally and personally!

Read More

How Well Do You Know Your Coworkers?

I’m sure we can all agree it’s been a weird year. Many of our offices have had to make adjustments that we never thought would be necessary, and we’ve all attended an excess of virtual events. But everything changed for people outside of the office as well.

Read More

Community

Believe it or not, I got to hit the road about a month ago and visit some high schools in Northwest Iowa. I always love going to that area of the state; it’s close to home (I grew up in Southwest Minnesota) and it reminds me to slow down. I felt a little rusty actually going into high schools and really talking to people (weird, I know) but it was so fun.

Read More

What's in a Day?

525,600 minutes. That’s how you measure a year. In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. If you are familiar with the musical Rent, sorry, that song will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day now. But maybe that’s OK…shouldn’t we all think about how every minute in our life counts for something, especially in this last year?

Read More

Defining Leadership

Leadership. A word and a concept that we have all known and worked with, but what makes a person a leader? Is it a title? A position? Experience? It could be any of these, or it could be none of these. 

Read More

A Message from Iowa ACAC Leadership

Iowa ACAC stands against all acts of hate and bias and condemns the Anti-Asian violence and hatred that has taken place this past week. Unfortunately, it’s only a glimpse into some of the hate crimes that have surfaced over the past year to the Asian community. Like all of you, we are angry and frustrated that this kind of racism continues.
As educators and admissions professionals, we must continue educating ourselves and others. There are many resources, but you can begin by visiting the following links:
It remains clear that there is so much work yet to be done to address the racism in our country. It takes all of us to make a difference and it starts with education.
Tara Winter, President
Jaclyn Tungesvik, President-Elect
Tom Paulsen, Past-President

Bending and Flexing for Advocacy

I had a professor in grad school who often reminded us that as school counselors, we need to “bend and flex.” The Government Relations Committee bent and flexed its way right into 2021, creating what has been touted--mostly by members of the committee--as the best Virtual Visit the Hill ever. We hope it is also the only Virtual Visit the Hill ever, but we’ve certainly exercised our creative thinking skills to learn what we can do when our usual practices are disrupted. In a year when it would have been easy to say, “Nah, maybe not this year,” Iowa ACAC and ISCA’s Visit the Hill delivered on its promise of learning and advocacy.

Read More

The Supervisor/Supervisee Relationship

Our relationship with our supervisors is one of the most important relationships that we have in our career, but it times it can also feel the most complicated. As three admissions professionals who have been in the field for a while, here are some things that we have learned over the years that can help you establish a great relationship with your supervisor.

Read More

What Do You Do with CRM?

In the last two years, I’ve had the honor of experiencing two incredibly transformative responsibilities:  being a first-time father and leading the implementation of Technolutions Slate CRM. While there is no “one right way” to be a parent or to build out a new database and information system, I was fortunate to have these roles at the same time. That overlap allowed the children’s book collection “What You Do Matters” by Kobi Yamada to serve as inspiration and fuel throughout the implementation process.

Read More

Simple Steps to Assist First Gen Students

“Go to the FAFSA website and create your FSA ID. You will need to use your parent's 2019 tax returns which you can link to your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.  Once we receive your FAFSA, we can tell you how many loans and grants you qualify for based on your EFC. You might get selected for verification. You will be notified if you are selected, and additional documentation will need to be completed. Login to TritonPass and accept your financial aid package under the ‘Academic Profile’ tab. You will then be prompted to complete Entrance Counseling. We recommended only borrowing what you need, and suggest avoiding the unsubsidized loan if possible because that accrues interest while you are attending college. Do you have any questions? Great! Call us if you need help with anything.”

Read More